Photo Credit: Jewish Press

This week we celebrated Yom Haatzmaut, Israel’s independence. Sixty-nine years ago Hashem moved heaven and earth and performed miracle upon miracle and established Eretz Yisrael in the hands of the Jews. It was a major advancement in the geula process. Many Jews have begun returning to our homeland, and many have become more observant as a result.

The Zohar writes that the first three geulos came in the zechus of the Avos, and the geula from the fourth galus will have to be in the zechus of Moshe Rabbenu. Therefore, the generation that will be redeemed will have to be a generation of lomdei Torah in order to merit the geula. It is incumbent upon us to realize how Hashem has facilitated our generation to rise from the ashes and build a populace of lomdei Torah. The amount of yeshivos that have flourished in past few decades is phenomenal. This too is a development in the geula process.

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However, we must realize what is going on and where we stand today. For the second time in world history Klal Yisrael are in Eretz Yisrael before the building of the Beis Hamikdash. In Shmuel Beis (24:1) we read about the troubles that befell Klal Yisrael during Dovid Hamelech’s reign. Rashi says that he does not know why these troubles occurred. The Ramban in Parshas Korach (16:22) writes that it was a punishment for prolonging the building of the Beis Hamikdash. At that time the Aron was moving from place to place like a ger in the land and no one was moved to say “We should be doresh Hashem and build for Him a Beis Hamikdash for His name,” until Dovid Hamelech began the plan which his son Shlomo brought to fruition. Says the Ramban, “If Klal Yisrael would have wanted and been nes’orrer (motivated) for this earlier, the Beis Hamikdash would have been built earlier, and there would not have been anger against them and they would not have suffered those tzaros.”

For the second time in world history Klal Yisrael is in that same situation. We are in Eretz Yisrael before the building of the Beis Hamikdash. Why are we repeating the same mistake three thousand years later? We need to have a strong desire for the Beis Hamikdash and prepare for it to come.

Having a Jewish state carries responsibilities. Why is it important to have a Jewish State? Is it merely to protect us from danger? The Tefillas HaShela (which many have the custom of reciting on Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan) quotes a Zohar, which says that the reason Hashem created the world was to make known to the world that there is a Hashem whose ways are beautiful. This will happen when there’s a nation that learns Hashem’s Torah and follows in His ways, in Eretz Yisrael. When an entire nation is learning Hashem’s Torah in Eretz Yisrael, where it is conducive for hashra’as haShechinah, the world will see that there is a Hashem whose ways are beautiful. The tefillah then continues based on this, to ask for children who are sitting and learning and performing mitzvos l’maan Shemecha.

The reason why it is important to have a Jewish State, specifically in Eretz Yisrael is because that will bring about honor to Hashem, and that will teach the world about Hashem’s pleasant ways. We must continue to daven for Malchus Beis Dovid to reign again in Eretz Yisrael, which will implement the Torah’s values and approach. Only under such circumstances can the knowledge of Hashem become known to the world.

While we celebrate Israel’s independence we must also consider the responsibilities that come with. May we be zoche to see Malchus Beis Dovid reign supreme in Eretz Yisrael and the building of the Beis Hamikdash in our times, amen.

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Rabbi Fuchs learned in Yeshivas Toras Moshe, where he became a close talmid of Rav Michel Shurkin, shlit”a. While he was there he received semicha from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, shlit”a. He then learned in Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn, and became a close talmid of Rav Shmuel Berenbaum, zt”l. Rabbi Fuchs received semicha from the Mirrer Yeshiva as well. After Rav Shmuel’s petira Rabbi Fuchs learned in Bais Hatalmud Kollel for six years. He is currently a Shoel Umaishiv in Yeshivas Beis Meir in Lakewood, and a Torah editor and weekly columnist at The Jewish Press.
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